Past Life Therapy or Regression works on the basis and belief that the cause of problems we face in life such as phobias, weight issues, chronic health conditions or relationship problems etc. often cannot be traced back to an event in our current life, but may have their root in a former life. The causing incident in a past life is very often connected with trauma or an unhappy experience. If it has not been resolved in the particular past life it is carried over into the next incarnation where it eventually makes its presence felt. For example, a subject has an unnatural fear of wearing a scarf or tie. They can find no reasonable explanation for this fear and have tried counselling, therapy and quite possibly hypnotherapy where they have undergone regression to childhood. By exploring Past Life Therapy they discover that in a previous life, they died as a result of hanging and so a connection and understanding is arrived at.
Past lives are explored in various ways but the most efficient method is by hypnosis. Hypnosis is a dissociated state involving a disconnection between the conscious and unconscious mental processes allowing the unconscious to be more aware yet still communicate with the conscious. Hypnosis works by redirecting the focus of attention away from the conscious (our everyday alert state, rational, analytical, logical, and censoring) and onto the subconscious (centre of imagery, intuition, creativity, imagination). The subconscious is home to all our memories, both forgotten and repressed. When the volume is turned down on the conscious and turned up on the subconscious, the subconscious is allowed to move forward and under careful guidance by the therapist is often quite willing to share its wisdom and memories with us.
It is the repressed memories, that have been too overwhelming for the conscious to assimilate in both our current and past life that are generally responsible for any unwelcome neurosis we may experience. The repressed memories remain hidden or locked up in the subconscious and are denied recall of any sort by the conscious. Because the memory of the trauma is repressed, it is forgotten and cannot be recalled in the normal manner by the conscious. However, it is still there under lock and key, and will eventually make its presence felt by manifesting symptoms in the physical. These symptoms may be totally unrelated to the originating incident and so, no link is made. Symptoms can manifest in many ways such as a nervous twitch, sleep problems, phobias, stutters, obsessions, weight issues etc.
When Past Life Regression is achieved by use of hypnosis for therapeutic reasons it is referred to as Past Life Hypnotherapy. Whilst in a state of hypnosis, and carefully guided by the hypnotherapist, the subject is regressed back to a former life and is actively encouraged to revisit the originating cause of their current life issues. When this happens the subject re-experiences the event and all its attending emotion, pain and hurt as if it was happening in the present. This release of emotion and energy associated with revisiting such trauma is referred to as abreaction. With abreaction comes liberation from the repressed trauma, and freedom from the neurosis or unwelcome situation in the current life. The past life root incident may be either very traumatic or barely worth noting. However, it depends on how it was perceived at the original time that determines the ripple effect it has on successive lives. What is perceived as trauma by a child may be seen only as a mere upset by an adult. Regardless of the seriousness of the incident, once it has been repressed and forbidden release by the conscious it will inevitably manifest one way or another as undesirable symptoms at some stage.
When it comes to Past Life Therapy, the hypnotherapist must keep an open mind, for what the subject is recalling, may not indeed be a past life. Besides reincarnation, there may be other explanations for what the subject is recalling. It may be as a result of cryptomnesia, which is the ability to access information and knowledge that we have gained unconsciously in our current life, e.g. the subject has no idea how he came to know so much detail about the Chinese dynasty. On examination, it is discovered that the subject visited an ancient Chinese exhibition years earlier. Without consciously trying, his subconscious absorbed detailed information and under hypnosis, this information is readily recalled.
Then again it may be the subject tapping into the Collective Unconscious. The Collective Unconscious concept which, was introduced by Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961) is believed to stores the memories of the evolution of man since the dawn of time and is inherited by all and can be accessed by all. Stored here are images and archetypal symbols of our evolution which we all identify with. The past life a subject recalls may not in fact be real, but merely a confabulation of such images and archetypal symbols. The originating cause may be too traumatic to be revisited and instead hides itself behind the mask of symbols and archetypal figures. However, the beneficial therapeutic result is the same as that of a true past life recall.
Lastly, we must look at the possibility that the recalled life is being accessed from the subject’s genetic memory. This again is another theory or concept on what is actually recalled in a past life regression. The belief behind genetic memory is that we leave a permanent mark of our lives in our genes that are then passed on to our descendents. So during a regression the subject dips into the genome blueprint and recalls a life that is not their own but one of their ancestors. However, again, issues of that particular ancestor may be impacting the subject’s life, so past life therapy will be therapeutically beneficial.
Throughout the regression, the subject must not be given any hints or ideas as to what is happening or about to happen. The subconscious is extremely open to suggestion and can be easily directed, so if the hypnotherapist attempts to lead or second guess what the subject is experiencing, the subconscious will quickly oblige by creating a story to fit the bill and the therapeutic benefits are lost. The subject leads and the hypnotherapist follows, not the other way around. The hypnotherapist is there to record what the subject recalls and not to interpret it. The actual interpretation is left up to the subject as it is only he or she who will understand its true meaning. The memories being recalled belong solely to the subject and so do the realisation and the insight they contain. The therapist can certainly assist but not force their opinion or interpretation upon the subject.
Whilst undergoing Past Life Regression the subject can often recognise and identify people from the past life been recalled, who are also with them in their current life. Their gender and their relationship to the subject may be different, but there is an immediate realisation and recognition of their connection. We all belong to certain soul groups and have certain soul mates that, we incarnate with over and over again. Like the movie discussed earlier, these roles change from life to life, but generally our soul mate stays our soul mate throughout all. However, just because it is our soul mate it does not necessarily mean that he or she will be our living partner/husband/wife etc. in each life time. Sometimes our soul mate can be our best friend, our sister or brother. There will be a strong spiritual connection and bond that lasts each lifetime.
However, and this is a big however, our soul mate does not always incarnate with us each lifetime. Sometimes we must travel alone on our journey. This happens for many reasons but is deliberate. Soul mates can sometimes stunt their own spiritual growth by being too co-dependent and as a result be oblivious to the world at large around them. For those who are familiar with Life between Life Regression, which is soul recall of the spirit world, these connections continue in spirit form as well. If a soul feels that they need to experience life more independently for their spiritual growth, then they may choose to incarnate alone, leaving their soul mate behind in the spirit world. This is not to say that they will have to spend the rest of their life on their own, it just means that they may have to spend more time working on their individual self, possibly finding it difficult to meet the right person, feeling something is missing in their life yet they can’t quite put their finger on it, having high expectations of relationships and ending up disappointed and disillusioned. Maybe they need to experience loneliness in order to understand it in others, so developing deeper levels of compassion and empathy. They may end up quite happily married but happy in a different way than when matched with their soul mate. For some, they may never be happy with second best and spend their whole life in search of their soul mate they believe must be out there somewhere, cutting them self off from the prospects of happiness and companionship in the process.
During a past life regression, the subject is eventually brought to the moment of their death in the past life. Subjects can choose to re-experience the event or to detach them self and view it remotely. Great emotion can be experienced during this stage with feelings of sadness and regret, fear and disbelief. Also the subject may feel joy as they witness their death, realising that they are going home and will soon be reunited with those gone before or those soul friends who did not travel at the same time as them. Subjects usually experience intense peace and calm as they pass over, often glimpsing scenes of the spirit world or their spirit guides. Subjects often describe intense tunnels of light and sensations of floating and overwhelming love and harmony. As soon as the soul has detached from its physical body in the particular lifetime being recalled, the life just lived is seen in a new light as it is viewed more objectively. A greater understanding of the bigger picture is experienced.
Once the subject has reached the post-death stage, much progress can be made, the life just lived reviewed and insight gained into their current life situation. Connections and links are identified often with sudden flashes of enlightenment. The subject is now in a better position to objectively view any traumatic incidents, to forgive any perpetrators and to forgive their own part in the situation. Once this occurs, real healing can be achieved as the subject is freed from the repressed baggage they have been carrying around. They can let go the past which, is holding them back and move forward in their life with new understanding. This process is no different from normal psychotherapy or hypnotherapy which attempt to bring to the surface repressed traumas or issues by carefully guiding a subject to regress to childhood or an earlier time in their life in order for abreaction to occur.
One important lasting impression of recalling a past life is the sudden realisation of the need to positively and effectively deal with any issues arising from the current incarnation so that the need to re-experience similar challenges in a future life is minimised. There is also the realisation and understanding of being connected to everything and everyone and the need to accept personal responsibility for the life been lived and all actions taken. Subjects often find a new way of dealing with the challenges been flung at them, meeting them head on and fearlessly. A greater understanding of their spiritual self, and a stronger connection to their spirit guide, empowers the subject to no longer feel alone and enhances their awareness of ‘something other’ besides the three-dimensional world they live in.
Acceptance of their own mortality and that of their loved ones, who may have already passed, be they young or old ensue as the subject has been given a glorious glimpse into the afterlife. They no longer fear their own passing as they now understand the cyclical nature of all things and the belief that they will be reunited with family and friends once again. Those who realise that their soul mate has not travelled with them can feel a bit low at first. However, they soon discover amazing strengths in them self when they let go of the constant external search for happiness and love from another, only to discover that true happiness comes from within.
All in all, Past Life Therapy is a fascinating voyage of self-discovery whether it is sought on a therapeutic basis or from a burning desire or fascinating curiosity. We are all on our own personal journey, travelling the corridors of time and history, crossing continents and cultures, genders and social class, love and loss and of course our regular return visits to our true home, that of the Spirit World our final destination.
Copyright © 2006-2012 Vivien Ní Dhuinn